African Car Manufacturing Companies And Their Owners

African Car Manufacturing Companies And Their Owners…
More than 90% of the cars used in Africa are imported to Africa. The importation cost added to the original purchase price of the cars make a lot of Africans who desire to own their own cars go for fairly used ones because of its affordability compared to the cost of getting it brand new. Hence, its important we get our own African car manufacturing companies to eliminate these limitations of getting a brand new car. A few African car manufacturing companies have stood to this task.


There are a lot of car manufacturing companies in Africa but a lot of them are not owned by Africans. They work as a subsidiary of their owners from other continents. This article will focus on car manufacturing companies that are owned by Africans and produce affordable cars for Africans. They are as follows:



BIRKIN CARS ( South Africa )
Birkin Cars was established in 1982 by John Watson an automotive enthusiast, it has its headquarters in Pinetown South Africa. The cars company was named after Tim Birkin a pioneering car race driver of the Watson family line. Its based in South Africa and specialises in the production of S3 Roadster car, a remake of the Lotus Super 7 car brand.


Watson who was a super fan of the Lotus Super 7, built a remake of it for affordability since people who would love to have the Lotus 7 couldnt afford it for his high market price. He named it the S3 Roadster. John Watson’s remake were first sampled at the 1983 South African Grand Prix. The S3 models were so good that the Lotus dealership had to contact him to sell the first sets of the completed S3 cars. Since then, Birkins has shipped its cars on sale to different parts of the world including Japan and the United States.


In July 2013, Birkins produced another model of of the S3 that is 4 times wilder and 3 times longer than the original S3. Since producing the S3, the company has grown to become one of the best sports car manufacturing company in the world releasing other models as the CS3, S3XS, and CS3XS. Despite its growth and sales expansion worldwide, the company has managed to stay put in Africa. Though its cars can only be afforded by the rich, Birkins cars is one car brand that carry the name of the continent high in the car manufacturing business worldwide.



Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company Limited ( IVM ) nicknamed the Pride of African Roads, is a car manufacturing company based in Nigeria. It is owned by Chief Innocent Chukwuma Nwala and has its headquarters in Nnewi Anambra State. The company started from Chief Innocent Chukwuma Nwala’s desires to provide affordable motorcycle and its spare parts to Nigerians in 1987 when the motorcycle business in Nigeria was booming. This led to his shipping in theJincheng motorcycle brand from China at very affordable rate when their Japanese counterparts of Suzuki and Yamaha were on the high side. From shiping in this motorcycle brand, he established the first Nigerian automated motorcycle assembly plant in 1995 at Nnewi Anambra State making him the first fully indigenous motorcycle maker in Nigeria. In 2002, the company achieved a feat of bringing down the price of new motorcycle from N150, 000 to N60,000 ridding the streets of Nigeria off fairly used motorcycles which were common on the roads due to the high cost of new motorcycle.



African Car Manufacturing Companies And Their Owners…

The automated motorcycle assembly plant grew to become Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company Limited, Nigeria’s first car manufacturing company, in 2009. Its in record that 70% of its car parts are produced locally while the rest are produced in Germany, China and Japan. Popular models of Innoson vehicles include 5 seator Fox 1.5 Litre engine, Umu 2 litre engine, and the Mini bus Uzo. In October 2020, IVM through its CEO Chief Innocent Chukwuma Nwala announced that they are making preparations to join the world in embracing electric cars by manufacturing them in Nigeria. Apart from Nigeria, IVM cars are in use in Ghana, Seira Leone, Mali and other West African countries.



Nord Automobile is a Nigerian Automobile company based in Lagos Nigeria. It was established by Oluwatobi Ajayi in 2016 after working as the managing director of Jetvan Nigeria lilited selling Mercedes Benz. According to him, working for Jetvan selling Mercedes madevhim realize Nigerians need affordable cars that are of the same quality but cheaper in prize and built to serve the Nigerian territory, so he established Nord Automobile. Nord automobile are designed to match the Toyota brand which is the most purchased car brand in Nigeria. They even share the same spare parts according to information goven to Vanguard Newspaper by the CEO via an interview.


Nord automobile produce buses, passenger cars, and sport utility vehicles, all designed, sourced, developed, assembled, and distributed in Nigeria.
Their ranges of car brands include Bolt bus, Flit bus, Aso truck, Trum big bus, A3, A5, and Q3 Sedan, Q5 SUV, Ben SUV, Urban Sedan, Nord Max, and Tank Pick up.
Their head office is located in Lekki Lagos while they have branches in Ikotun, Ajah, Ijebu Ode Ogun State, and Port Harcourt.



Katanka Automobile is a Ghana based automobile company that design, produce, assemble, and sell automobiles. It is owned by Apostle Kwadwo Safo the founder of Christ Reformed Church. Katanka Automobile works as an extension of apostle Safo Technology Research Center Gomoa Mpota, Ghana, that functions as a factory where cars, television, and other technological inventions are made. Kantanka automobile is currently managed by his son Kwadwo Safo junior. This automobile manufacturing comany was established in 1994 to provide affordable cars to Africans from rich to medium and low income earners. Its first car was built in 1998 with 75% locally manufactured parts and the others sourced fron abroad. The company has since then grown to manufacturing reliable and affordable car brands of different varieties for African road. Their Cars are assembled in Ghana with kits supplied from China.



African Car Manufacturing Companies And Their Owners…

The Ghanian government is a big patron of Katanka automobile as a lot of its car brands are purchased and used for government functions. Notable models of Katanka automobiles include Katanka Onantefo 4×4 Pick Up/SUV, Katanka Omama Luxury 4×4, Katanka Nkunimdie SUV, Jinbei S30 and many others.



Laraki Automobile is a Moroccan automobile company founded 1999 and owned by Moroccan car import entrepreneur Abdeslam Laraki. This automobile company based in Casablanca Morocco specializes in production of luxurious sports cars. It is currently managed by Abdeslam Laraki Junior who upgraded his fathers car import business to an automobile manufacturing company after taking over the business in 1999.


Laraki automobile first got the attention of the automobile world when its first manufactured vehicle the Laraki Fulgara debut at the 2002 Geneva Motor Show, Switzerland. Later models were showcased on thesame show in different years but one of the most popular car from Laraki Automobile the Laraki Epitome was showcased at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2013, Pebble Beach California, USA. The company is reported to have only designed 9 of this brand of the car worldwide and sold only 1 to Moroccan American rapper French Montana at the price of $2 million, making it one of the most expensive cars worldwide.


Another brand of Laraki automobile is the Laraki Borac designed in 2005. One thing about this brand of automobile is that, their body is manufactured in Morocco but their engines are made by other automobile companies. Automobile companies that have designed engines for them so far are Mercedes and Chevrolet. Because of this, Laraki Automobiles are very expensive as they are almost thesame value in the automobile market as the popular automobile companies mentioned above.



This car manufacturing company is jointly owned by the Ugandan government and Makere University that provided the brains behind the manufacture of its cars. The government own 96% of the company’s shares while the University own the remaining 4%. Its headquarter is located at Ntinda Kampala Uganda. Kiira Motors Corporation started in 2007 as an invitation by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA, extended to a professor of Makere University Professor Sandy Stevens and 2 students Tickodri Togboa and Mr Paul Isaac Musasizi, to take part in an international consortium, a part of a vehicle Design Summit held for the purpose of designing a 5 passengers hybrid electric vehicle named Vision 200, targeted at the Indian economy, as the only African representatives.


The prof and his students succeeded at building the Vision 200 low power and electronic data networking system. On completion, Vision 200 was put on display at the Dream Exposition in Torino and Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile, Turin, Italy, in 2008. After recording a success at the summit, rather than stay abroad and work for automobile companies overseas, the team decided to take their knowledge and skilled aquired home to start building affordable made in Uganda cars with emphasis on producing electric vehicles. On returning back home, they were visited in the university by the president of Uganda H.E Yoweri Museveni, who granted the institution a Presidential Initiative Fund for Science and Technology Innovations that took effect in 2010. The team also requested the university create a Center For Research In Transportation Technology ( CRTT ), where research and innovation in transportation technology on land, air, and sea would be carried out.



African Car Manufacturing Companies And Their Owners…

The request was approved in 2011 and CRTT kicked off with the production of Kiira EV, Africa’s first electric vehicle. It was commisioned by the president of Uganda H.E Yoweri Museveni. The president was so impressed with the performance of the car and the achievement of the team from Makere University that he offered the resources of his presidency to take the car manufacturing feat achieved by the team to the next level by establishing an automobile manufacturing plant in Uganda. This led to the establishment of the Kiira Motors Project, which birthed Kiira Vehicle Technology Innovation Program through which the first electric hybrid vehicle designed and built in Africa Kiira EV SMACK, was manufactured. The car was commisioned by H.E Yoweri Museveni and other important dignitories at Kenyatta International Convention Center, Kenya in 2014.
In 2016, the Kiira Vehicle Technology Innovation Program made history again manufacturing the Kayoola Solar Bus, Africa’s first Electric Solar Bus designed and manufactured in Africa. The Cabinet of Uganda met in 2018 to discuss the commercialization of the vehicles manufactured by the Kiira Vehicle Technology Innovation Program. The meeting led to their supporting the program with US$40 Million ( fourty million US dollars ).


From 2018 till date, Kiira Motors Corporation has been manufacturing on road vehicles. Their most popular brands include Kayoola Diesel Coach, and Kiira EVS.


Frost and Sullivan USA in 2016 awarded Kiira Motors Corporation their prestigious Vissionary Innovation Leadership Award in Sustainable Mobility.



Talk of an African car manufacturing company that build cars putting into consideration the income of the average African, its Mobius Motors, located in Mombasa Kenya. Its owned and managed by Joel Jackson. This automobile manufacturing company produce cars that are sold at the same cost with a fairly used imported car that are common in Kenya and other East African countries.


Mobius Motors started operations in Africa in the year 2009 after Joel Jackson visited Kenya from America and discovered the transportation sector in Kenya needs more durable and affordable cars for mobility between the rural and urban areas, since only a few people own cars and majority of them are fairly used that were imported to Kenya.
His discovery made him set up a team that he sponsored for a 10 months research on how to manufacture durable low cost automobile. Their research resulted in the company’s first prototype vehicle named Mobius 1.


The company sought external funding in 2012 that led to the production of its second prototype Mobius 2 that became its first commercial model. The first batch of Mobius 2 that were produced for on road use soldout in 2016 soon as they landed the market. After selling out its first batch of cars, the company decided to stop selling and improve on the model. To enable them achieve their aims, they got an extra investment of 500 Million Kanyan Shillings from the United States Overseas Private Investment Corporation ( OPIC ) in 2019.
They have gone on to produce the improvement on the Mobius 2 named Mobius 2 First Generation that sells for as low as 1 Million Kenyan Shillings, making it one of the most affordable car brand in the continent.


For the durability and affordability of its cars, Mobius Motors has gotten praises from car reviewers of the following media organizations:
Forbes, Fast Company, Wired, Venture Beat, and Reuters.



WALLYS CAR ( Tunisia )
Wallys Car is a Tunisian based automobile manufacturing company located in Tunis. This automobile manufacturing company was established in 2005 out of the passion of two Tunisian brothers Zed Guiga and Omar Guiga. It came about when the had the opportunity of having an unplanned meeting with a former automobile manufacturer for Jeep Dallas Mr Rene Boesch, on the Island of Wallis and Futuna, France . The meeting led to the development of the first Wallys Car prototype named Wallys IZIS, that was first showcased at the 2008 Paris Motor Show, France. It was later approved for production in 2009. Several units of the improved Wallys IZIS was produced on demand by custoners some without doors while others had doors depending on the customers demands.


In 2014, the company stopped the production of the Wallys IZIS and started producing Wallys IRIS, an improved version of the IZIS. The new model was so on demand that the company decided to start commercializing it in 2017, producing it enmasse for on road use. 57% of the materials used in producing the Wallys Cars are sourced in Tunisia.
Wallys IRIS uses a Peugeot PSA 1.4 Litre engine and corresponding parts from Peugeot, Citroen, VDO, and UTAC. They are on sale in Tunisia, France, Morocco, and Panama for €12,600 in various colours. From 2005 till date, Wallys has sold over 2200 Cars worldwide.



Saroukh El-Jamahiyira also known as Libyan rocket because it was built in the shape ofa rocket, is a luxury car brand made in Libya, controversially named the safest car in the world. It is powered by a 230 Horse Power V6 engine, has an air bag, an inbuilt electronic defence system, a collapsible bumper that protects passengers in head on collision, and tires that can cover hundreds of kilometers after being flat.


This car model shouldnt have made this list because it was designed for former Libyan president Moammar Gadhafi and not for commercial purpose, by Libyan Arab Domestic Investment Company. It made the list because Gadhafi had the people of Libya in mind while being involved in producing the car. According to the chairman of Libyan Arab Domestic Investment Company Dukhali al-Meghariel, the car has all the safety features it posess to withstand the frequent road accident which was a major problem in Libya as at the time it was designed. The president also made sure the materials with which it was built came from Libya.



African Car Manufacturing Companies And Their Owners…

Saroukh El-Jamahiyira was first show cased at the Organization of African Unity ( OAU ) meeting in 1999, and later unveiled in 2009 at the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Libyan revolution. It was slated to be built for sale at a factory in Tripoli the country’s capital but it never happened.



Perana Performance Group is a South African automobile manufacturing company based in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. It was established in 2007 under the Perana brand name that former South African automobile manufacturing company Basil Green Motors, was known for. This automobile manufacturing company is owned and managed by Jim Price. It specializez in manufacturing of high performance sports cars. Though the company is based in South Africa, its cars are manufactured by the South African branch of American automobile company Hi-Tech Automotive & Superformance, and designed by Zagato Automotive, Italy. The first model of car it manufactured is named The Perana Z1. Its production began in 2009 after the company commisioned Zagato Automotive to design it and it was presented to the public at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, Switzerland, as a concept car. In 2010 it was presented again to the public at the Geneva Motor Show as a finished sports car, at the Zagato automotive studio stand. Its design was inspired by the American sports car model Chevrolet Corvette ( C6 ).


An improved version of Perana Z1 was designed in 2012 when Hi-Tech Automotive and Superformance partnered with AC Cars. It was named AC 378 GT Zagato.
Perana Z1 and AC 378 GT Zagato use a 6.2 Litre V8 engine sourced from General Motors.


The company promised to produce 999 copies of the Z1 model for commercial purpose in 2009 but less than a dozen of them were let out of their factory in Port Elizabeth. They sell for nothing lesser than €50,000 in South Africa and the international market.



SNVI GROUP ( Algeria )
SNVI stands for Societte Nationale des Vehicules Industries. In English it means National Company of Industrial Vehicles. It was established in 1967 by the Algerian government. Its the biggest vehicle production company in Africa with over 8000 employees and a production rate of 2007 vehicles with an income of US $250 Million. It focuses on the production of Industrial vehicles, luxurious buses, trucks, and semi trailers.


SNVI has its headquarter located in Rouiba Algeirs, with branches in Ouargla, Constantine, Oran, and Hussein Dey. Its products are popular in Algeria and countries such as Tunisia, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Niger, Mauritania, Mali, and Libya. The current CEO and Chairman of SNVI is Mr MEGHDOURI Mustapha.
Popular vehicle models of the SNVI group include SNVI TC 260 Truck, SNVI Military Truck, SNVI 100L6 Talaba Bus, SNVI Numedia Lux Bus, SNVI Fire Fighter Truck, SNVI Tanker, SNVI Cement Mixer Semi Truck, SNVI Cement Tanker, and many more.



This automobile manufacturing company was founded in 1972 by Gilbert Guzzo under the brand name CANAM. Their headquarter is in Aïn Sebaâ, Casablanca, Morocco. It started by manufacturing caravans, trailers, speed boats, and amusement rides. In 1993, the company changed its brand name from Canam to Societte Automobiles Menara when they began producing replica car models of other automobile manufacturing companies as Peugeot, Citreon, Chrysler, and Ford. The first car model they built after their name change was a replica of the 1913 Peugeot BeBe as ordered by the then Monarch of Morocco King Hassan II. They named the car Canam Menara. The also built a replica of 1912 Buick Model 35, 1917 Buick 45 Touring, 1908 De Dion-Bouton Landaulet , and a 1935 Citroen 5CV Trefle. Their success in building this cars made the Royal family commision them to restore an old Ford Model C and a 1934 Chrysler CB.

They decided to go into making vehicles of their own in 2001 which led to the manufacturing of their first commercial vehicle Menara WSC 2002, with materials sourced from Morocco in the year 2002. Their cars are in use in Northern African countries, and North America.



African Car Manufacturing Companies And Their Owners…

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